Tag: coming out

Yearning For “Queerplatonic” To Be Recognized As Not Romantic (and other scattered thoughts)

This is my entry for the April 2019 Carnival of Aros, which is on the theme of “Coming Out and/ or Being Out as Aromantic Spectrum”. The Call for Submissions is here. It’s crossposted to Tumblr here. For more info on what the Carnival of Aros is or how to volunteer to choose the theme for a future month, check out this link: https://carnivalofaros.wordpress.com/


There is a separate post I could be writing on the origins of the coming out phrase not having to do with closets but rather debutante ball language (and drag balls), and how complex it is to discuss aromanticism in the context of this phrase. I am not writing that post today.

Allow me to clarify really quickly that in my own life, how “out as aro” I am or am not is very complicated and I’m not particularly in any closet, but. I’m also not sure where I am in regards to outness.

Since I haven’t really blogged directly about my place on the aromantic-spectrum in years, I feel the need to establish context before really diving too much into the theme for the Carnival this month, so please be patient as I ramble and try to explain where I come from in this conversation. Also some of these context-establishing sections will likely be sprinkled throughout the post.

In February, during Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, I wrote a draft that got past 1,000 words on “Why the Gray-Aro label?” but I never finished it, never published it, and didn’t really like how I had written so many words of context and not yet even answered that question. I felt like I needed to try again. (Maybe skip dwelling on backstory. Jump into the present.)

As an extremely “out” asexual person who isn’t gray at all in my aceness, yet who is hovering somewhere in the gray areas of the aro spectrum, I feel like I’m constantly being asked to place myself (my ace self) into one of only two ill-fitting boxes. #1 Being Alloromantic aka a “Romantic” Asexual, or #2 being Aromantic alongside my asexuality. Most people see things as black or white; one or the other. And maybe I still do too. Even internally, to myself, I jump back and forth—and back again—trying to settle on what I am. Am I fully aro? Can I fit in that box? I often feel like maybe it’d be easier for me.

I never really think I’m fully alloromantic anymore. It’s been 5 years since I’ve wondered if I’m “panromantic”, full stop, no extra modifiers. I feel comfortable saying I’m definitely not. I’m not an alloromantic panromantic.

But I can’t decide if I’m a plain-and-simple aromantic with absolutely no romantic attraction, or if I’m in some other part of the aro spectrum. My identity is blurry rather than solid and easy to categorize. (Thanks! I hate it. 😂)

Continue reading “Yearning For “Queerplatonic” To Be Recognized As Not Romantic (and other scattered thoughts)”

Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 1 of 3)

This is a post written for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around “Resiliency”.  

I split this post up into 3 parts to make for better ease of reading, and also because I wrote them pretty far apart lol. I wrote in separate chunks. Part 2 is here, and part 3 here.


This long, 3-part post itself involves me taking some pretty big risks, putting myself out there in multiple ways I haven’t yet on this blog.

But a huge theme of this post will be risks I’ve taken especially in the past year or so, and the risks I continue to take, how my life has in the past year been much more categorized than in years prior by… purposefully making myself vulnerable, because hopefully, in the end, the rewards would be worth the risks I was taking. Because, as I remember Coyote spelling out in a blog post back in April,

When you take an emotional risk and aren’t punished for it — when your trust is validated, instead of your vulnerability exploited — that can make for a very rewarding experience.

That resonated SO powerfully with me.

 And if you’ve ever had a vulnerable experience that ended positively, I think it’s fairly easy to understand.  Sometimes you have to take a risk in order to see your judgement validated.

I have taken more risks recently. And a lot of them have to do with my asexuality in  some way or another. It felt like the only alternative options were to be almost completely closed off from true friendship with new people. It has felt like it would be so positive to take the risk that to not take it would leave me festering in negative feelings like regret, and like no one understands me, and…

Well first, a note: I haven’t entered a post in the Carnival of Aces since March, meaning I skipped two months worth of the carnival. I also haven’t blogged about asexuality or related issues at ALL since that post of mine in March. XD I have left lengthy comments on other people’s posts since then, but… my own blog here? It’s been quiet over in this neck of the virtual woods.

I almost entered a blog post in the carnival for April though; the beginning of my post today is going to be what was saved in my drafts from my unfinished entry for that, because while it would fit April’s theme, it also fits June’s theme of Resiliency.

Continue reading “Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 1 of 3)”

Being newly closeted because I’m in a new environment

I don’t really want to be overly specific, but basically, I started volunteer working somewhere, so my “co-workers” (who are all volunteers too, it’s a completely volunteer situation) are all sort of more casual and like new acquaintances/friends, but most of them are significantly older than me, and I feel very awkward about being asexual, all of a sudden.

I’ve been quite open about my asexual status within the past year-and-a-half, to most people, especially people I like and trust as friends.

But I want my co-workers to respect me, so I don’t want to bring up my asexuality, just in case they judge me in any of a number of ways.

I’ve been, however, growing increasingly aware of how uncomfortably back in the closet I’m beginning to feel. I feel like I’m hiding somewhere. What my sexual orientation is shouldn’t be relevant to my job, but because of the very friendly and social environment this new volunteer job has created, it feels like it is relevant, like when people talk casually about their heterosexual marriages and children, I should be able to talk about my life too.

And the crazy thing is, I have good reason to believe these people might all be understanding and accepting and fine with it if I came out. I just… don’t know. I have no clue. Their average age, especially, is what is making me extra uncomfortable – I am prejudiced that the older the people are, the less likely they are to accept that I am correct about the label I’ve chosen to apply to myself. They might assume incorrect things about me. Etc.

For the first time since realizing I was ace, I feel like I can trust and enjoy the company of a new group of people who are all dedicated to the same volunteer cause that I am, and at the same time I just… don’t trust them enough. And I wish I did. I wish I wasn’t so scared.

April 2014 Carnival of Aces: Call for Submissions

I am excited to be hosting this month!! If you don’t know what the Carnival of Aces is, check out the details here: http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/a-carnival-of-aces-masterpost/ Everything is explained wonderfully if you just click the link. 😉

I hope to get multiple intriguing submissions, so please consider submitting something, even if it’s short! Whatever you have to say, even if it’s small, is worth adding to the discussion. 😉


 

The theme I’ve chosen for this month is: “Analogies to an Asexual Experience”.

What I mean by this is: We all have a lot of different experiences in our lives, and maybe we have noticed that something completely unrelated to sex/attraction/etc has reminded us of asexuality, or has had parallels to something asexuals talk about? Maybe there is an analogy you can draw that other people might not have thought of before. You don’t personally have to have experienced it to draw an analogy, either. You can just have thought of an interesting parallel and write about it… just make some kind of analogy, it can even be a fictional story where the whole thing is one big analogy, kind of like an allegory lol. Just try to tie it into something that people in the asexual community deal with/like to think about/talk about/etc.

The Free Dictionary gives one of the definitions of analogy to be: “Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.” So please just consider something asexuality-related or consider asexuality as a whole and try to think if there is something else you’d like to talk about that is similar in some ways, despite being different!

Some ideas for the topic:

  • There may be something else in your life that you don’t experience, in addition to sexual attraction. You don’t understand why all of the other people in your peer group enjoy playing video games. Maybe you don’t feel like a “shipper” when you watch TV shows, or maybe you don’t like watching TV at all and you don’t get why people love it so much, or you do “get it” yet don’t experience it anyway. Or there are so many other things in life that you might not experience/feel/get the appeal of that so many other people do. Even people in the asexual community. Like how not all of us like to eat cake! (In some of these examples, maybe sex-indifference or sex-aversion would be more applicable than a lack of sexual attraction? I don’t know.) If you are neuro-atypical or are disabled in any way, there is likely something else that many other people experience but that you either experience differently, or not at all (an easy example being sounds, if you are Deaf!). The final bullet point on this list is also related to this one.
  • Maybe the way that the difference between romantic and platonic attraction confuses you (concepts quite relevant in asexual circles) is very similar to how a difference between two other concepts (that are not particularly relevant in asexual circles) might confuse you! Or a single concept like sexual attraction might be as hard to find a good definition for as much as some other single abstract idea!
  • Perhaps the way asexuality is not in the media enough (and when it is in the media, it’s too often misrepresented or misleading the general public in some way) reminds you of another way a topic is handled in fictional media, such as… mental illness? Or so many other things you might think apply here.
  • It is possible that the way that people have reacted to you coming out as asexual is similar to how people react to some other thing you reveal about yourself!
  • Maybe you really wish asexuality was taught in sex-ed when you were in high school (or younger!) and there is also something else you wish was taught in school but isn’t!
  • Being a religious (or non-religious) minority, or an ethnic or racial minority, a disabled minority, a gender minority, or any other minority (see the next, and final, bullet point in this list for one very specific example!) might sometimes feel similar in some ways to being in the asexual minority. The communities might have paralleling characteristics. The experience of having this identity might have similarities. The way the majority treats both groups might have parallels. Etc!
  • laoci on the asexuality sub-reddit has considered the fact that Musical Anhedonia (not feeling anything when you hear music!!) probably has a lot of parallels to being asexual: http://en-us.reddit.com/r/asexuality/comments/20rhyi/offtopic_but_some_parallels_do_you_not_get/ (Including, unfortunately, the fact that some people in the approximately 99% majority who do not relate might want to call both asexuals and people who experience musical anhedonia “freaks” – see the comments on that article!)

Of course these are just some of the countless potential analogies you could draw! I have another idea that I plan to post as my own submission for this month – you’ll see it soon enough! Maybe I’ll even write two posts for the month, since I kind of have two ideas.

I’d love to see you expand on any one of those ideas above, perhaps in nuanced ways I had not thought of? OR come up with your own new ideas for analogies. Don’t be afraid to be creative. If in doubt, it probably is close enough to my theme. Maybe some of the analogies drawn by the various people who write up submissions for this carnival will end up helping people explain to allosexual friends and loved-ones what an aspect or two of their asexual experience has been like! Or maybe the comparisons will just be interesting for all of us fellow ace-spectrum folk to read about!

In the past, I have noticed that this has kind of already been done a few times.


 

Submissions may be in any form: written, video, audio, a chart, comics, fictional prose that makes a point, poetry, etc.

To submit, you may post a link in the comments on this post, message me through tumblr, tweet me @luvtheheaven, message me through YouTube at luvtheheaven5, or email me at pemk7@aol.com. If want to make a submission and do not have anywhere to post it, send your submission to that email address. 😉 I’ll post it as a “Guest post” here on my blog, and I can credit you by a name of your choice!

As said last month… Happy blogging!

I’m really looking forward to your submissions. 😉